Las Vegas • Tuesday wasn't a good day for Utah State football if you believe in what the media thinks.
The Mountain West released its preseason media all-conference team and predicted order of finish during the first day of the league's two-day Media Summit at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.
Utah State was picked last in the six-team Mountain Division, and it wasn't even close. The Aggies received 28 points in the poll, the fewest points of any of the 12 teams in the league.
New Mexico was picked to finish fifth in the Mountain Division — 40 points ahead of Utah State.
Utah State finished last in the Mountain Division with a 3-9 overall record and a 1-7 conference mark last season. The Aggies finished first and tied for second twice in the division in the three previous seasons.
This is the first time since Utah State joined the MW in 2013 that it was picked last in the preseason. The lowest the Aggies had been picked in the preseason was third in 2013 and 2016. Utah State's last-place finish last season was its first since it joined the MW, and it was its worst overall and conference records in the league.
The Aggies also didn't have a player on the preseason All-MW team, which also was selected by the media.
Fifth-year Utah State coach Matt Wells and two players — senior quarterback Kent Myers and senior defensive back Dallin Leavitt — will be available to the media Wednesday. Tuesday was reserved for players and coaches from the West Division.
Perhaps Utah State can look to Wyoming for some hope when it comes to these preseason predictions. The Cowboys were picked to finish last in the Mountain Division last year — by a lot. They ended up winning the division and finished with an 8-6 record and played BYU in the Poinsettia Bowl.
Utah State's 16 returning starters on offense, defense and special teams are tied for the third-most in the MW. The Aggies join the other five Mountain Division teams in returning their starting quarterback from 2016.
Fresno State, one of three teams in the West Division with a new coach (Jeff Tedford), was picked last in the West Division. The Bulldogs ironically return the most starters of any of the 12 MW teams with 18.
Senior defensive lineman Nathan Madsen had this to say about the Bulldogs being picked last, which should hold some clout with Utah State.
"It doesn't matter — people are going to say whatever," he said. "You hear that and you realize we control our own fate. If we won the MW it wouldn't be the last time someone counted the underdog out. They can say whatever they want. We're going to come out and fight."
Boise State and San Diego State were picked to win the Mountain and West divisions, respectively. San Diego State was the unanimous choice to win its division, and it looks to win its third consecutive divisional title this season.
Wyoming had the preseason offensive and defensive players of the year in junior quarterback Josh Allen and junior safety Andrew Wingard. San Diego State senior running back Rashaad Penny was named the preseason special teams player of the year. Penny was the league's special teams player of the year in 2015 and 2016.